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NAACP to Vote on Resolution Condemning "Racist Elements" of the Tea Party

Tea Party Protesters
People attend a tea party protest in Washington, Thursday, April 15, 2010. AP

Update: The NAACP passed the resolution Tuesday evening.

The NAACP today is set to vote on a resolution to condemn the Tea Party movement for "explicitly racist behavior."

The group's more than 2,000 voting delegates are expected to pass the resolution today at the annual NAACP convention in Kansas City, Missouri.

The resolution, which was submitted by the NAACP's Kansas City branch, reportedly says the Tea Party movement has "displayed signs and posters intended to degrade people of color generally and President Barack Obama specifically" and condemns "the racist elements" of the Tea Party as "a threat to progress." It references instances in which black congressmen said they were verbally and physically abused by Tea Party activists.

The resolution also calls upon "all people of good will to repudiate the racism of the Tea Parties, and to stand in opposition to its drive to push our country back to the pre-civil rights era," according to the Kansas City Star.

"I think a lot of people are not taking the Tea Party movement seriously, and we need to take it seriously," Anita Russell, head of the Kansas City chapter of the NAACP, told the Kansas City Star. "We need to realize it's really not about limited government."

Nearly since its inception, the Tea Party movement has sought to shake off its image as racist. Brendan Steinhauser, director of campaigns for FreedomWorks, a group that has facilitated the Tea Party movement, told the Washington Post the charges of racism are not justified.

"I think there's been a concerted effort to make us look like were are extreme," he said. "We're a very mainstream movement that talks about the debt, the bailouts, the spending."

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